Plastic is not fantastic for Hawks chiefs

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Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Hawks manager Lee Bradbury and director Trevor Brock are heading for the extraordinary general meeting of the Football Conference in Telford today with pitch woe on their mind.

While they are making their way up to the midlands, frantic work is continuing behind the scenes to get the Westleigh Park pitch fit for the FA Trophy quarter-final against Aldershot Town on Saturday.

It is a massive game for both clubs and the home side are hoping to avoid losing a third consecutive weekend game to the weather.

At the summit meeting, Ryman Premier Maidstone United are trying to get the Football Conference to change their rules on the use of 3G pitches.

At the present time the surfaces are forbidden and if the Kent side were to gain promotion they would not be allowed to move up.

And while Bradbury faces a fixture headache between now and the end of the season, he does not want to see the league allow 3G pitches.

‘I can see all the advantages from a commercial point of view,’ he said.

‘Clubs would be able to guarantee most games would go ahead and they could also lease it out for extra revenue.

‘However, from a football point of view it would ruin the game.

‘It would slow the game up and virtually take tackling out of the equation.

‘The whole direction of the game would change and I am not in favour of it.

‘Even when training on the 3G facilities at South Downs College we have to be careful.

‘The extra twisting and turning can take a huge toll on the joints and cause problems for players coming back from injury.’

Maidstone are unlikely to change the Football Conference’s standpoint.

Officials are trying to get the Football League to agree to a three-up and three-down promotion and relegation between League Two and the Skrill Premier.

And as the Football League do not allow 3G pitches, the Football Conference will not want clubs in their league that are not eligible to be promoted.

Brock agrees Maidstone’s proposal is unlikely to succeed but he believes it opens up an important debate for the future.

‘Eventually I don’t think people will be able to turn back the tide,’ he said.

‘The artificial pitches are getting better and better and we are not talking about the disliked plastic pitches of Queens Park Rangers and Luton of 30 years ago.

‘Our Academy played on the one at Maidstone earlier this season and it was a good surface.

‘With all the games we have had called off in recent weeks it would have been nice to be able to borrow one.

‘For some clubs who are not ambitious to move up from Skrill South, it could be a good financial option.

‘That doesn’t apply to us because we feel we are capable of moving into the Skrill Premier.’